A section of a main New Lynn street remains cordoned off this morning with parts of a footpath now a giant gaping hole with an impassable sheer drop.

Auckland Council officials will be out in force today inspecting the destruction after hours of torrential rain led to widespread flash floods across West Auckland yesterday.

A building left teetering perilously close to a footpath that is now a gaping sinkhole on New Lynn's main street is a key area of concern.

Engineers assess the damage in New Lynn after yesterday's deluge of rain, which caused extensive flooding and damage. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Engineers assess the damage in New Lynn after yesterday's deluge of rain, which caused extensive flooding and damage. Photo / Brett Phibbs
An area in New Lynn, Auckland that washed away during yesterday's deluge. Photo / Brett Phibbs
An area in New Lynn, Auckland that washed away during yesterday's deluge. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The civil defence head of emergency management operations, Aaron Davis, said that today teams would be inspecting the ruined infrastructure before people were allowed back inside homes and businesses.

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At least 12 residents from a set of flats in Kelston were forced out of their complex after the first storey was flooded and many others had no option but to spend the night away from waterlogged properties.

The intersection of Clark St and Great North Rd remained closed to traffic and pedestrians.

Photos of the damage show the ground completely washed away leaving the shop's foundations exposed.

The huge hole, which has opened up where there was once a footpath, has also left a number of once-buried pipes open to the elements.

A council spokeswoman said officials were still investigating the exact cause and still waiting for the water level to drop before further investigations could be carried out safely.

Davis said the flooding had left stormwater, property and roads in a state of disrepair.

Davis said where the footpath had been gouged out by the floodwater and whether the building had been undermined was of chief concern.

Davis said 18 people had been put up in emergency accommodation by council over night with a number of other people staying with friends and family.